Ben Sasse, the Senate GOP's 'Never Trumper,' irks some voters at home

Local Republicans, whose campaign to bar illegal immigrants from renting or working here attracted national attention, now have a presidential nominee pushing their issue — and a hometown hero who’s one of his biggest GOP detractors.

Ben Sasse grew up in Fremont, returned as a college president to save its most important institution, and in 2014 was elected to the U.S. Senate. He’s said he won’t vote for Donald Trump, he called for a third-party candidacy, and he vowed to leave his party if it’s remade in Trump’s image.

But most Republicans here either like Trump or feel compelled to support him as the duly elected nominee.

Sasse, the Senate’s first and lone declared “Never Trump’’ Republican, “has shot himself in the foot,’’ says Bob Warner, a former city council member who sponsored the immigration ordinance in 2008 and voted for Sasse. “He’s the kid who says, ‘If you don’t play my way, I’ll take my marbles and go home.’’’